Editor's letter: Figuring out commercial

An overdue lesson in commercial lending

This month we have brought you a bumper issue of commercial goodness, and what an interesting issue it was to put together! The best thing about this month for me was all the interviews with our top 10 commercial brokers, where I got to delve a bit deeper into how they run their businesses and learn that commercial finance is a very wide umbrella.

Over the past 14 months that I’ve been writing about the broker industry, the occasional crossover into commercial lending has of course come up.

But I’d never had the chance to really work out that while some commercial brokers might help you buy your car, a retail space or some equipment for the coffee shop you’re about to open, other commercial brokers might fund shopping centres, shipping ports and satellite cities (yes, really, satellite cities).

Another interesting thing – for me at least – was that each broker had different experiences of the lending market and the lenders they used.

Even if you pick up the magazine and think, ‘But I’m not a commercial broker’, perhaps it is more for you than you realise

Where some brokers had found tougher credit conditions and a need to shift to alternative lenders, others had nothing noticeable to report.

I’d like to thank them all for taking part, as well as for giving their time to talk to me – and explain their businesses.

Beyond highlighting MPA’s top-ranked commercial brokers, we’re also bringing you a comprehensive guide to commercial lending. With all the talk about broker diversification, this guide provides a timely introduction to each of the main aspects of commercial finance.

Even if you pick up the magazine and think, “But I’m not a commercial broker”, perhaps it is more for you than you realise.

We’ve spoken to some key players in commercial lending to find out what’s been happening in their respective markets, how they are supporting brokers, and crucially, how brokers can get started.

You might not want to diversify; you might be happy doing mortgages.

But let me pose a question that a broker once asked me: “What happens when you refer your mortgage client to a commercial broker for their small business and then find that the broker is also doing mortgages?” I’ve almost definitely paraphrased, but the consideration remains the same.

Rebecca Pike